Pakhawaj is an ancient barrel shaped drum with two playing heads. It is essentially a north Indian version of the Mridangam. It was once common throughout north India but in the last few generations tabla has usurped its position of importance. It has a right head which is identical to tabla except somewhat larger. The left head is similar to the tabla bayan except that there is a temporary application of flour and water instead of the black permanent spot. It is laced with rawhide and has tuning blocks placed between the straps and shell. This instrument was very much tied to dhrupad, consequently as dhrupad has declined, the pakhawaj has also fallen out of use. Today this instrument is rare and used only in Dhrupad concerts and percussion ensembles.

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